Hundreds of students and people gathered on Friday night to pay tribute to Le Thanh Thuy, a cancer patient who died young but had inspired many with her spirited battle to the deadly disease, at her resting place in Ho Chi Minh City.
People gave sunflowers and sang various Vietnamese songs to the Thuy, a high school girl who had led a long and hard fight against her bone cancer before her death at the age of 19 on November 2, 2007.
Thuy was laid to rest at the Cu Chi Cemetery in Ho Chi Minh City, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of her passing away.
Since the stories of Thuy were widely known, she has become a symbol of endurance and strong spirit in the fight against cancer.
At Friday’s commemorative event, Nguyen Van Cai, vice principal of Cu Chi-based Quang Trung High School, recited emotional stories written by Thuy during her long and enduring fight against the devastating disease.
Many students could not hold back their tears when listening to Thuy’s stories read by a teacher named Nguyen Thi Mong Tuyen.
|A group of students of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Industry sings a song during the ceremony.|
|Two teachers Nguyen Van Cai and Nguyen Thi Mong Tuyen share stories written by Thuy.|
A book written in Vietnamese and named “Xin hay cho con them thoi gian” (Please give me more time) was published at the end of 2007 following her death.
The book featured emotional stories taken from Thuy’s diary and articles written by others who knew of the young cancer patient.
The following lines were written by Thuy in her diary.
“One day, if my illness goes away, that will be God’s miracle bestowed on me. I will begin my new life in a more positive and meaningful way.
However, if I pass away, that will not be anything of great sadness. I accepted my fate on June 9 four years ago  when I was diagnosed with cancer.
Everyone shall pass away in the end. It is just a matter of time.”
Following her death, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper established the “Uoc Mo Cua Thuy” (Thuy’s Dream) Foundation to support children with cancer across the country.
The annual “Sunflower Festival” is jointly held by the newspaper in collaboration with the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Chapters of the Vietnam Youth Federation as a fund-raising activity for the foundation.
On Sunday, the 10th “Sunflower Festival” will be held in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the event is scheduled to take place at the municipal Children’s House from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
The event will feature a wide range of activities including paper sunflower making, hand-made sunflower sales, an exhibition displaying paintings drawn by children with cancer, and the awarding of scholarships to children with cancer.
In the capital, a similar event will also be held at the Hanoi’s Children Place from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.
Le Thanh Thuy was born in 1988 in Ho Chi Minh City.
She attended the Thuc Hanh High School – Ho Chi Minh City University of Pedagogy in 2003.
In 2003, she was diagnosed with bone cancer and had 2/3 of her right leg amputated.
From 2003 to 2007, Thuy continued to attend classes despite her disability.
In 2007, Thuy had to stop her study as her condition exacerbated.
During her time in the hospital or at home, Thuy wrote various blogs and organized several events to help cancer patients in Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2006, she was awarded “Citizens of the City” certificate for her charitable work.
Thuy passed away on November 2, 2007 with two legacies “Thuy’s Dream Foundation” and the “Sunflower Festival” established the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
|Countless sunflowers are placed on Thuy’s tomb.|
|Two students light up incense at Thuy’s burial place.|
|A student of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Industry visits Thuy’s resting place.|
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